Thoughts From The Wilderness – Why is The Grass Greener On The Other Side?

One exceedingly well-used cliche, I’m sure we’ve all either said or heard at one point is “the grass is always greener on the other side.”

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A wonderful saying, that really doesn’t accomplish much in my mind. But, leaving that aside for the moment, there are a number of questions regarding the cliche, that come to mind, though.

First of all is, “on the other side of what?” Secondly, “why is the grass greener on the other side? The third thing that intrigues me is, “who cares?(because apparently many do).” And finally, “is it really greener?”

Well, let’s see if we can answer some of these.

First – “other side of what?”

I’m not sure there is a simple answer to this one. The other side of some physical fence is the obvious response for sure, but I honestly don’t think the phrase was ever meant to be as simple as that.

No, we’re not talking about grass types and lawn care here.

So, what is “the other side?”

Is it what others appear to have, but we want?

Might it be the whole “keeping up with the people down the street” concept?

Or could it be the belief that their lives would be better or improved greatly if they were only living the lifestyle of someone else?

The word contentment or lack thereof flies to the forefront here. And realistically, there is nothing wrong with not being content with something or where you might be in life. That feeling of “not being contented” should spur someone on to do the work necessary to get to a different spot in their life.

Perhaps it is simply an excuse. “Things would be better, if only…………” Placing the blame for where you might be in life on someone else or other circumstances instead of where the blame should rightly be placed.

And do I need to spell “that place out for ya?”

The “other side of the fence” though suggests that taking a quick stroll across the garden and through a gate to greener grass and all will be good. Unfortunately, nothing substantial in life is ever obtained by a “quick stroll through the garden.”

Secondly – “why is the grass greener on the other side?”

Because we want it to be greener. If you don’t like that, then you most definitely won’t care much about this next bit.

If it isn’t greener, then how can we play the role of the victim here?

“The grass is greener on the other side,” suggests a type of scale or measurement is at play here. Where we currently are is “not so good” and over where “the grass is greener” is a much better spot to be.

Again, it comes back to the “If only we could get over to where the grass is greener, then things would be better.”

How do you know it will be better?

Source: Google Images

If things aren’t so great on this side, how can one make the assumption that things will improve significantly by simply being where the grass is greener?

Aren’t you still you, regardless of “the colour and health of the grass?”

If you’re fu@king up on this side, chances are without making changes in your life, you’ll fu@k up where the “grass is greener” as well.

The grass is greener on the other side because we want and need it to be greener.

Any other colour or health of the grass will not support the role of “poor me.” The “if only we were on the other side where the grass is greener” card only works when we believe the statement to be true.

Thirdly – “who cares?”

No one, except you

Finally – “is it really greener?”


When “looking over the fence to the other side where apparently the grass is greener”, what we see or interpret is often an illusion or a level of fakeness at best.

When we spew forth the phrase, “the grass is always greener on the other side” aren’t we always referring to people?

“Look at Joe and Mary. My word, they have the perfect family. No problems at all; everyone looks at them as role models. I wish we had their family and life.”

Well, good for Joe and Mary. The problem though is that Joe and Mary work exceedingly hard at masking and covering up the horrendous issues in their family. They want the world to know that they have it all together when the reality is they don’t have it together at all.

They present one thing to the world, but actually, are living an “existence equivalent to hell on earth.”

Tom and Sheila have it all. They made it to the “promised land” so to speak. Three cars, a cottage on a fantastic lake and a skiing vacation to the mountains in western Canada every year in the winter. And the parties and bbq’s they invite us to. So much fun and they supply everything. All the food and “adult beverages” one could hope for.

Man, I wish we had their careers, then we could live like that. Then we would have worries in the world at all.

Yup, Tom and Shelia do have three cars and they’re all really fancy models too. And yes, they do have a great cottage and they do go skiing in the mountains each winter.

But, Tom and Shelia both work 60 to 70 hours per week and hardly see each other. You see, that’s quite the lifestyle they generated for themselves throughout the years. They need to work, work and work even more to maintain it. They are also mortgaged to the hilt and have to pay several thousand dollars per month to meet the minimum payments across the many credit cards they have. Realistically, there is always more month than money.

Unfortunately, their marriage is like a tightly compressed spring that is ready to explode at any moment. And because they work so much and things at home are “electric at times” their kids don’t want much to do with them, other than to use the cottage when Tom and Shelia aren’t there.

But, to all who know and see them, “man what a lifestyle they have – things look pretty fantastic to us! If only we had………”

More often than not “the green grass on the other side” is simply fake.

Fake, fake, fake.

Yes, it might appear green because either we want it to be “green” or others are disguising it as “green.”

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We look or admire the lives of others and wish “if only we had what they have……” And we become so enthralled with the spectacle, that we fail to realize or recognize that what we might be seeing is likely not the reality here at all.

People portray what they want others to see and believe. And they do it for reasons beyond the scope of this post.

So, instead of striving towards some fanciful illusion that “the grass is always greener on the other side”, why not try this revolutionary concept.

Do the work necessary on your own patch of grass.

Work on yourself and your situation.

  • till the soil and prepare to plant new grass seed
  • remove the weeds in your life that are choking out the grass
  • add some fertilizer to help the new grass take root and grow
  • water the new plot as necessary to keep things growing and healthy

When we work on ourselves; doing those things necessary to grow and change, then our grass will be as green as the grass on the other side.

On the other side of what – no one knows – but you’ll know.

Thanks for reading

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

6 thoughts on “Thoughts From The Wilderness – Why is The Grass Greener On The Other Side?

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